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«Content Executive Summary.............................................................. ...»

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Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s

State & Local Government

Who should read this paper

CIOs, CISOs, IT Managers



STATE. &.LOCAL. GOVERNMENT..............


Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s State & Local Government


Executive Summary.................................................................................................... 1 Requirements for Data Center Optimization in State & Local Government.................................................... 1 Core Principles of Data Center Optimization in State & Local Government................................................... 1 A Proven Methodology for Data Center Transformation.................................................................... 3 Technology Solutions for Data Center Transformation...................................................................... 5 Summary.............................................................................................................. 7 Appendix: Symantec Data Center Optimization Solution Matrix............................................................. 7 Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s State & Local Government Executive Summary Faced with mandates, budgetary pressures and mounting IT complexity, state and local governments have launched initiatives designed to significantly reduce the number of operational data centers. Most often this reduction is in the 75 percent to 95 percent range. NASCIO’s “State CIO Priorities for 2012” list Consolidation/Optimization as the number one ranking priority1 under the “Priority Strategies, Management Processes and Solutions" section. Second on this list is Budget and Cost Control. In the near term, many agencies and departments are being asked to adopt a zero-growth strategy for data center space and then begin reduction to take advantage of the potential cost savings and increased security and management capabilities that data center consolidation can offer. This report also ranked Virtualization first and Cloud Computing as third under the “Priority Technologies, Applications and Tools” section as the technologies that will provide the maximum leverage in attaining these goals. Symantec has solutions available today that directly address these priorities.

There are several core principles fundamental to successful strategic data center optimization. Among them, storage optimization, ensuring 24x7 availability, accelerating virtualization, and cloud adoption and maximizing agility. To minimize risk, capture the cost savings, simplify IT complexity, and comply with mandates, government organizations need an approach that combines best practices with complementary technologies that address these core principles.

This whitepaper provides an overview of key drivers for data center optimization in state and local governments, describes the core principles associated with data center optimization, and details best practices, methodologies, and technology solutions proven to derive maximum value from data center optimization initiatives.

Requirements for Data Center Optimization in State & Local Government

State and Local government’s long-term data center consolidation efforts are well underway. Since budget cuts began to impact State and Local government back in 2008, identifying existing data center assets and formulating consolidation plans to significantly reduce the number of data centers has been an ongoing effort. Many agencies and departments have adopted a zero-growth strategy for data center space first before beginning data center reduction.

Aiming to reduce the overall energy and real estate footprint of government data centers; cut the cost of data center hardware, software and operations; and, shift IT investments to more efficient computing platforms and technologies, has had far ranging implications for other State and Local government initiatives and mandates.

Core Principles of Data Center Optimization in State & Local Government In order to capture the billions of dollars in cost savings and comply with government mandates, agencies and departments should consider pursuing data center optimization initiatives with a focus on four main principles.

1-NASCIO, State CIO Priorities for 2012, pg 1, October 26, 2011 Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s State & Local Government

1) Optimize Storage The growing volumes of data that need to be stored, managed, and moved are taxing government infrastructures. A moratorium on expanding data center space and a need to save costs are forcing agencies to find alternatives to storage build out. Poor visibility to actual storage consumption and the inability to reclaim wasted storage leads to unnecessary purchases, which puts increasing pressure on IT budgets. Add to this the ever increasing amount of duplicate data that resides in a storage environment and the need to retain data for long term retention and it becomes clear action needs to be taken.

Identifying strategies to increase utilization of existing storage, eliminate data duplication, efficiently archive data for long term retention, and rolling out thin provisioning are important priorities. State and Local Government data centers should consider taking steps to deploy solutions that can aid in centralizing visibility and control across physical, logical and virtual environments, gain higher efficiency from existing storage, identify and capitalize on wasted storage, and automatically and continuously reclaim and optimize storage.

2) Ensure 24x7 Availability Resiliency through a crisis situation is critical. Continuous and heightened threats due to natural and man-made disasters put national infrastructure and citizens at risk. Ensuring continuity of Government and 24x7 availability of systems are essential to national security.

Downtime caused by human error and complexity of systems, lack of support for high availability and disaster recovery solutions in heterogeneous environments, cost of these operations and deployments, and difficulties associated with planning and testing without disrupting service are making it difficult to ensure 24x7 availability. Agencies and departments are demanding more stringent service level agreements from vendors and are seeking strategies for streamlined disaster recovery build out and testing. Government agencies should apply best practices and solutions that accelerate application and data failover, provide automated support for high-availability, disaster recovery and backups, consolidate and minimize standby servers, and eliminate unplanned downtime.

3) Accelerate Virtualization and Cloud Adoption The benefits of virtualization—cutting costs, increasing flexibility and saving energy—have been widely touted. As a stepping stone to cloud adoption, virtualization is gaining traction within government data center consolidation plans. However, the Symantec 2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey found that concerns related to disaster recovery and the ability to maintain security and control over mission-critical data and applications are slowing adoption of virtualized/cloud environments. Identifying strategies to improve security of

Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s State & Local Government

the data center and storage performance in virtual machines (VMs), automate application recovery in VMs, and improve data governance through insights into unstructured data, are essential to confidently integrate virtualization and the cloud into data center optimization strategies. State and Local Government data centers should ensure that the following needs are met through a combination of processes and

solutions that:

1. Centralize visibility and control across virtual and physical assets

2. Enforce security, backup and storage policies on VMs

3. Protect mission-critical data

4. Automate recovery across virtual and physical environments

5. Increase utilization and reclaim storage

6. Virtualize pooled storage and leverage dynamic tiering

4) Maximize Agility Heterogeneous infrastructure leads to a proliferation of disparate tools, manual processes, and a lack of visibility. Effective data center transformation requires the ability to manage change and increasing complexity more efficiently and quickly. Remaining agile in the face of operational complexity, manually intensive infrastructure projects, and an increased risk of unplanned downtime is a challenge. Identifying ways in which to enable agility through consolidation, visibility, automation, and standardization across the data center are essential.

Government should consider applying practices and solutions that offer centralized control over IT infrastructure, reduce complexity through automation, proactively identify risks, simplify maintenance, provide end-to-end visibility, and support cross-team collaboration to minimize disruptions during migration.

Optimizing the data center based on these core principles requires a combination of proven methodologies to minimize risk and costs and complementary technologies that can be leveraged across multiple, heterogeneous environments.

A Proven Methodology for Data Center Transformation Data center optimization is often regarded as one of the highest risk projects that IT can undertake. State and Local Government agencies and departments need to identify partners with proven methodologies and a wealth of experience in minimizing risk and successfully transforming the data center on time and within budget.

Symantec brings to every engagement a unique Data Center Transformation (DCT) solution framework, enabling cumulative benefits from a wide range of enterprise services and technologies. The DCT framework is comprehensive yet pragmatic, focused on addressing current priority challenges in IT while delivering sustainable improvement across and organization’s data center environment—from core infrastructure (servers and storage), through operation and administration, to ownership and management.

Symantec applies a phased approach to the DCT process as indicated above. DCT is not a short-term fix but a strategic and holistic process that includes comprehensive assessments, architectural best practices, and innovative product enablement services. Using this framework, Optimizing the Data Center for Today’s State & Local Government Symantec takes many interrelated technologies and processes into consideration and optimizes them in a manner that yields dramatic improvements in the overall IT ability to manage cost, complexity, and performance.

The DCT process consists of best practices in discovery, planning and implementation.

Discovery. The process begins with a Project Definition Workshop to ensure all parties clearly understand the scope of the project. This is followed by an asset inventory, assessment of the current and desired future state of the architecture, as well as identification of methodologies that will be used and schedules and budgets that will be adhered to. Symantec has refined this phase based on auditing, profiling, and migrating over tens of thousands of servers and has developed processes and a collaborative toolset to facilitate the transition and reduce risk.

Planning. Diligent preparation during the planning process ensures application availability requirements are met and provides clarity of impacts and dependencies. Symantec provides all aspects of the planning and pilot phase, from the development of the migration scheduling process and the schedule itself, to the design and validation of the migration processes. Using a Migration Lifecycle process based on interrelated ‘elements’ Symantec achieves data center optimization in a controlled, consistent, and standard manner with minimum downtime and disruption. A pilot phase further minimizes risk by migrating a controlled number of systems and updating procedures as needed.

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